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Mild Mannered Reviews - Specials

Trinity #20

Trinity #20

Scheduled to arrive in stores: October 15, 2008

Cover date: October 15, 2008

Main Story: "I Remember the Day"

Main Story Writer: Kurt Busiek
Main Story Penciller: Mark Bagley
Main Story Inker: Art Thibert

Back-Up Story: "Bound to Matter"

Back-Up Writers: Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Back-Up Pencillers: Tom Derenick
Back-Up Inker: Wayne Faucher

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges with Barry Freiman and Neal Bailey

Click to enlarge

Firestorm realizes the world has changed and has never had Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman in it. The Justice Society never retired and people don't know what superheroes are, even though powerful metahumans patrol the earth. People seem to somehow remember Superman anyway, vaguely, and Firestorm decides to look for John Stewart for help.

To be continued...

Back-Up Story: "Bound to Matter"

Krona goes to Laboratory World 7431, homeworld of the Controllers. He wants them to work for him so he can communicate with something, but they decide they'd rather try and study him so he kills them all and then discovers that their planet made of technology was somehow alive, and that all planets and suns are alive (?), and sets off to find conscious heavenly bodies to use as his soldiers. I think.

To be continued...

Jeffrey's Review:

3Main Story - 3: You know, this was the best main story of Trinity to date, but let me be perfectly honest with you.

I think this was the best to date NOT because of great conflict.

I think this was the best to date NOT because of amazing story.

I think this was the best to date NOT because of character development.

I think this was the best to date NOT because it was well-crafted with attention to detail.

Because, of course, this issue was NOT any of those things.

I enjoyed it more than the others for the simple fact that I have a large bias towards Superman, and it emphasized his importance to the world and what he means to people. That's it.

I gave it a three because I let my bias affect me for Superman. Let it not make you think there's anything here worth reading, as I don't wish to mislead you. There was nothing else here redeeming, and in fact there are things that make no sense at all.

To wit, in a world without Superman, Wonder Woman or Batman... the world changed before they would have even been around anyway. DECADES before they would have been around.

I get that Morgaine, Enigma and not-Despero didn't actually remove the Trinity from the timeline (although what, then, they actually did is anyone's guess), but it still makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that the world would change BEFORE they were even around. All the changes should be coming from them never having appeared... it's just a load of nonsense couched in a poorly-told, boring and unimportant Firestorm story.

And speaking of nonsense, read on to see what I though of the Back-up Story...

3Main Art - 3: The panel of Superman flying over the city was kind of nice. Still as average as average gets, for me.

1Back-Up Story - 1: WHAT THE HIGH HOLY &@#% WAS THAT?

"They are eager and hungry, suckling at the teat of divinity."


This is, hands down, the worst thing I have EVER read in any comic book in my entire life. It's just pages of jibberish. Based on KRONA.

I'm going to go stab myself in the eyes to relieve the pain. Excuse me.

2Back-Up Art - 2: Krona! More Krona! Look, it's Krona! And more Krona! Did I mention Krona?



3Cover Art - 3: The statue thing is already old, and this is only the second of three. Sigh.

Barry's Review:

1Main Story - 1: There's no sense of suspense in the story. Regular people are already remembering the Big Three. Busiek's lesson for the reader is coming from light years away: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman are such powerful icons that not even magic can remove their heroic images from the minds of the people of the DCU.

If you remove three people from reality retroactively, then it's as if no one had ever heard of or seen these three people. It's clear from last issue that Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have been removed from history as if they never existed. Dick Grayson was never taken in by Batman. Donna Troy never became Wonder Girl (and technically, as Diana's doppelganger, she should have ceased to exist).

Then there's the story's biggest faux pas. Absolutely nothing happened in removing the Big Three from continuity that would have caused Commander Steel to rip off his false epidermis and reveal his identity. There's no reason the other heroes would follow suit. This was a moral decision made by the team well before Bruce, Diana, and Clark showed up. Even if Diana's mother Hippolyta had still been Wonder Woman during World War II (and that isn't clear anymore since "Infinite Crisis"), Hippolyta was a warrior and would likely have sided with Commander Steel so her absence shouldn't have had any effect on history. The JSA would have retired before the influence of the Big Three.

The only inspiring scene in the issue was Jason Rusch recalling the first time he'd seen Superman on TV and in person. His reaction was the same any of ours would be: "It was so cool." The rest of the story this issue? Not so cool.

5Main Art - 5: Bagley's art shines from the first page and that spectacular panel of the Superman statue in Centennial Park, all the way to the last page depicting Superman flying overhead. The panel of the JSA running toward the reader is iconic. And nothing else about the art feels rushed as, in the past, when there would be a grand splash or full page panel, and the rest of the art felt inferior as if the artist put all his time into the larger images to the detriment of the smaller panels. This is the first time that I see the artwork as consistently outstanding.

1Back-Up Story - 1: Huh?

2Back-Up Art - 2: Darn but there's a lot of purple and yellow in this back-up. It's tough to blame the artist for dull artwork when he's limited to drawing an assimilated and identical alien civilization and a giant yellow flaming humanoid. The art adds little to a poorly told tale.

3Cover Art - 3: I still like this triptych for its originality compared to the first 18 covers. I'll let Neal critique how the "Trinity" logo doesn't match the hero depicted on the cover. Though I am totally with him on that and I'm glad he continues to point it out. Still the hero featured on the cover is the hero referenced the most by Firestorm in the book so I guess that's something...

Neal's Review:

1Main Story - 1: Nothing we didn't already know, that the world has changed, only this adds details that don't add up and are incoherent to this reader.

As I understand it, Supes, Bats, and Wondy simply do not appear in this continuity. Okie-doke. Well, if that's the case, why would that change what the Justice Society did?

It wouldn't.

But assuming it did, how would they have stopped the Crisis? Imperiex? Any number of things? This is YOD continuity, whereby we're just supposed to assume and ignore the glaring inefficiencies of the scenario.

No. I won't. Too much suspension of disbelief to do so.

I get the feeling this is one big mass of description just waiting to be wiped away when Supes, Bats, and Wondy return. Beyond that, it just isn't that compelling.

I love the scene in the beginning where they spend a whole page showing that people are walking in front of a statue and wondering what's going on, and then Firestorm describes it in dialogue. THAT is economy of form, people. Sigh.

"But c'mon, what kinda sense does that make?" says Firestorm's friend, regarding the history, quote. I've been thinking the same thing, boyo. Or girlo. I don't know, because I'm unfamiliar with Firestorm, and though Krona gets his eighteenth origin retelling in this comic, Firestorm is still a blank entity to me.

To suggest that the other heroes couldn't or wouldn't have been heroes without the big three, to me, undermines the entire DCU, and I disagree with the sentiment wholly. That DC would be a fascist state without the big three is just ridiculous to me. That it wouldn't have survived? I'll believe that. That it would become a fascist state? Just


4Main Art - 4: Pretty decent, actually, especially the reveal with the Amazos. Though it's hard to say compelling, given that it's mostly Firestorm sitting on his butt and extrapolating. But that's not the fault of the art, which shines.

2Back-Up Story - 2: Krona maligns some scientists with horrid dialogue about how he wants to learn about the stuff of creation, coming off as a petulant idiot with no brains instead of a genius who has seen the ends of the cosmos. The writers would curry more favor with me if they would just pick which it is and kinda stick with that. Either way, what's accomplished here? That Krona is gonna blow up planets for the soul of planets? So he's not only Brainiac and Imperiex lite, now he's going to be Galactus lite?

He also speaks in space.

Plus one, however, for mentioning Bosons. That's just for the LTR.

5Back-Up Art - 5: Pretty decent, actually. They manage to make Krona semi-compelling, and beings as dumb in theory as the "CONTROLLERS!" into semi-plausible creatures through the art. I'm amazed by that. Alas, I can see through it to the hokey, so I do-ey the pokey.

1Cover Art - 1: Superman under Batman, and all of the same critiques I put in the last review. Doesn't happen in the story, not as compelling as, say, a cover with giant Amazos on it, and just an excuse for cover geeks to triple collect. Nothing really compelling here.

Mild Mannered Reviews


Note: Month dates are from the issue covers, not the actual date when the comic went on sale.

January 2008

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